The Perth Wildcats have secured their eighth NBL basketball title, with star import Bryce Cotton draining 45 points to lift his side to a 95-86 win over Illawarra in last night's grand final in Perth.
Cotton nailed seven three-pointers in a five-star performance, with the American countering several attempted comebacks from the Hawks in game three of the grand final series.
Illawarra sharpshooter Rotnei Clarke (30 points) tried his best, helping the Hawks overcome an early 17-point deficit to get the margin back to two.
But it was to no avail, with Cotton's heroics lifting the Wildcats to victory.
The win cemented a 3-0 clean sweep for the Wildcats, and secured Perth back-to-back titles for just the second time.
This season's title will be remembered as one of the most remarkable in the club's history.
The Wildcats were languishing in last spot in December, amid a horror injury run, and the club took a huge gamble when they axed import Jaron Johnson for a second time.
But the arrival of former NBA guard Cotton and the return from injury of Damian Martin helped spark a remarkable revival.
The Wildcats swept Cairns 2-0 in the semi-finals, and were simply no match for the Hawks in the best-of-five Championship series.
Star forward Matt Knight missed game three because of concussion fears.
Knight, who has a history of concussion issues, copped an accidental knock to his head in Wednesday's win in Wollongong, and didn't recover in time to take to the court yesterday.
Hawks import Marvelle Harris scored eight points just a day after his father Marvin died.
The Wildcats made a blistering start to the match, racing to a 12-0 lead inside five minutes.
And that was before Cotton had even hit the scoreboard.
The American was soon able to get going, blowing the lead out to 23-6 as worried looks spread across the Hawks' bench.
The Wildcats led 44-28 when Cotton unleashed a three-point clinic during the second quarter.
But the margin was back to just five points by half-time after Clarke unleashed some long-range magic of his own, and the Hawks twice closed to two points in a gripping third quarter.
But whenever the Hawks threatened, Cotton responded.
And the win was a fitting way for Wildcats legend Shawn Redhage to bow out of the game.
"Not many guys get to go out with a Championship, so I'm proud of this team," Redhage said.